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Being one of "those" mothers... - Page 5

post #81 of 115
sorry my baby hit the keyboard while nak - double post!
post #82 of 115
Originally posted by suseyblue
how 'bout: if it says 'vent' in the title, & you only get bad vibes out of it, you skip it? i kind of like free speech (or as free as it gets on a moderated message board.)
Good points, and as a rule I try to avoid the venting threads, unless it's someone who wants advice or help for the situation they are venting about.

However, I still think we'd be better off as a community without the venting about other mothers and bashing others for non-ap choices stuff because I imagine it really turns people off from joining MDC.

Think about it, instead of coming here and being willing to learn why we feel breastfeeding is best, they're going to think man I can't even ask that question because I'm be flamed for having given my baby formula.

Do you notice lately how many threads start off saying, "Please don't flame me, but this is how I feel."

How sad that we need this disclaimer. This can be such a loving and caring bunch of women, obviously if you have to ask not be flamed before you post your true feeling something is not right here.

So do I think these post should be censored - no - everyone should have a right to say whatever they want.

But, I do think we as a community should be careful making sweeping accusations - i.e. people who circ their boys are terrible parents who don't love their children and I think people should take a minute before they post about that stranger in the mall feeding their 3 week old coke and think what will it add to the community to talk about this.
post #83 of 115


and mothersong
TY for all your responses

I am guilty of "judging" in my mean nasty parents thread. I say that but I don't feel guilty really-I can't honestly have sympathy for what the mom was doing/saying to her kids. I knew that the women here would understand my vent
I know from my Cj studies and SCPA work that had I said anything to her the kids would have almost likely suffered much worse at home, as well as risked a confrontation in front of my kids and hs group that would have affected many many people ..food and other stuff I don't bother with. I don't care if you eat goldfish-its more important to me that you love your child,treat them like a human being etc etc

I love the sig lines with ap/cloth/etc. There are plenty of mainstream boards out there ..its nice to see it here MPO
post #84 of 115
Originally posted by tofumama
I bf until my kids weren't interested anymore, around 10 mo for both. Could I have encouraged them to continue? Sure, but who are they continuing for?

I think this is such an important point. I definitely get the sense that with some poeple the need to do everything in the "AP-correct" way beceomes something that is the end in itself, rather than the means to it. It matters more that they do the thing, whatever it is, than that they do what is right for their child. Oftentimes the thing that is "AP-correct" is correct for their child, but not always. And I always respect parents who make decisions based upon what is best for their child, after researching their options and exerimenting, than those who follow group think and do what will make others think they are "cool".

To be truly AP seems to me to be attuned to what your child needs from you, not what other "AP'ers" think is the right thing to do. If, for example, your child is happiest sleeping in her own room in a crib then in my opinion you are doing them a disservice by forcing them to sleep with you if because that is the "AP correct" thing to do. Or vax, or not sling, or whatever

Anyway, I think everyone has an innate need to belong to a group and to define themselves by the rules of that group. Even people who are outside of the "mainstream" band together and set up rules and heirarchy, etc. (Like the "Goths" in high school...they were "outsiders" but they too had insider rules and requirements and a uniform). So I think that is where a lot of this comes from. We finally felt like we found a group of people who seem to click with us generally, and we want to be "approved" by the group.

Anyway, just a thought.

post #85 of 115
It is a complex issue. On one hand I think folks like Piglet have every right to be proud of their accomplishments (including that planned C-sec!) Sig lines kinda help us keep up with each other, like I notice Piglet is adding to her family in October. (sorry not picking on you Piglet, you're just a good example today). I really don't want to see any more 'rules' about what you can & can't post- I hope it's someting we can all self-police. I've never done a sig line before, but if I can work it out, I'll stick my personal MDC creds on there. I'm sure they'll piss off a few people..........
post #86 of 115
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by suseyblue
should we petition cynthia to start censoring any post with negative energy? it does abound here, & not just towards mamas. (there was an esp mean thread about meg ryan's plastic surgery. what if she read it!)
I never suggested that posts should be censored or that we should try to turn MDC into some sort of polyannic paradise where no one is allowed to vent or complain. The purpose of my OP was to suggest that the judgemental nature of some threads might be inadvertantly hurtful to moms who come here looking for support. Like I said, I just find this particularly surprising on an AP site. Based on the responses in this thread, I'm clearly not the only person who feels this way. My hope was that we might become more mindful of how we might affect others.

I have no problem with the AP-checklist signatures, it's just not my thing. I do think, that for some people, they're a way of highlighting how non-mainstream they are --- not that that's good or bad.
post #87 of 115
Originally posted by Scout
Misfit, you sound a lot like me! Can we be misfits together?
Absolutely! We misfits help keep life interesting.
post #88 of 115
SaveTheWild, I just wanted to say that I really liked your post. Well put, and I agree.
post #89 of 115
SavetheWild, I also enjoyed your post. And I think you make a very good point.

Maybe this is just about human nature. I mean, honestly, how many other parenting boards out there are free of judgment? Have you ever had to deal with a bunch of mamas joking that "If they're old enough to ask for it [BF] they're TOO OLD", etc.??? If you think mainstream mamas are any less judgemental just b/c they are the "norm" I suggest you go hang out at babycenter or some other place. Trust me, you'll come running back here!

And why SHOULD we be any less tolerant than mainstream mamas just b/c we are AP? That doesn't make us any less human. In fact, it probably makes us MORE prone to being judgemental because we are subjected to it ourselves every single day, by family, by friends, by strangers even! (I'm lucky that I, personally, rarely get flack anymore but I read many posts here from people who are basically all alone in their parenting style). How refreshing to be able to come here and bash a certain style of parenting! I'm not saying it's noble, or even admirable, but hey...it's pretty human.
post #90 of 115
I haven't posted but I've been reading this thread since the beginning. You guys might have seen this but just in case I thought I'd post a link here.

I curbed my judgments -or- you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

Really speaks to this discussion.

post #91 of 115
Good heavens, I'm certainly not so karmically balanced that I never pass judgement on people. I also cringe when I see babies with coca-cola in their bottles, or turkey hill iced tea (that's a big one around here-- many children start kindergarted literally addicted to that stuff ). Even strawberry milk in a bottle tends to get my shorts in a twist. What I try not to do is make someone feel judged. I don't think it would help that mother if I came here to vent about it, and I don't know if I would help the child if I said something to his mother. Unless it's someone I know, in which case they're likely to get a full on rant.

My sister tends to go on rants about carseats. I've seen her give away carseats to people who didn't have them, because it drives her insane to see a small child unrestrained in a vehicle. She spent a lunchbreak with a co-worker's mother and boyfriend showing them which carseat they would need and how to install it for a baby they were going to pick up in a few hours. When her daughters' cousin needed a different (read: adequate) carseat to come home from the hospital (they wouldn't release her with the one she had) my sister took my younger niece's carseat to the car and installed it for them. In other words, she's *very* judgemental about this particular issue... but instead of coming home and whining about it, she *does* something.

I'd like to *do* something, too. And I feel like if I can't do something constructive, then it's better for me to keep my mouth shut. I have offered to pump for people who didn't have enough milk, because nursie-nursies are important to me. I have given people my phone number so they could call me day or night with questions. I have shown people the ease of cloth diapers. I even listened to my brother's fiancee's concerns about co-sleeping with my nephew, and was non-judgemental enough in my comments to convince her that it was the right thing for him and worthwhile for her. (Turns out the issue wasn't my nephew at all, but the fact that my brother sleeps diagonally when the baby is in the bed, so there was no room for her. : Whole different story, but you get it all when you actually listen!)

That's my problem with the "what a nast parent" threads: I don't feel like I have a right to complain about something if I'm not making an effort to change it.

About the sig lines: I understand what you're saying, but isn't MDC all by itself a place for people like us? It's true that I don't feel so isolated irl in terms of my parenting. Even though I'm one of three people I can think of who uses cloth diapers, even though I've met one tandem nurser outside of LLL, even though people think I'm a snob because I don't give my son turkey hill iced tea or soda or candy, I don't feel terribly isolated in my decisions. In large part, that's due to this community. It's nice to log on to a website where lots of people have decided that TV shouldn't be a babysitter, or that their child can sleep with them, or to nurse for more than a few weeks. I come here and I feel much less alone, even though irl I know only one other AP and I met her here! :LOL I see the sig lines as, if nothing else, divisive.

When I first got here, I lurked for a while because I was made very nervous by those sig lines. I thought "Gee, my son has had vaccinations, and he's had a bris... does that mean I don't belong here? I don't own a sling.. should I log off?" The more posts I read, the more confident I became that I did indeed belong here, and that there were other women on these boards who were much like I was. It feels to me like those signature lines create a bit of an 'underground' here... a group of women who very quietly go about their business loving and caring for their children in the way they feel is best, taking and leaving great advice and just not discussing all the non-ap things they do/don't do. I guess that's okay with me; I've always been a bit of an outsider. But there are other people who want to feel accepted by most (if not all) who are really put off by those threads, and who often don't discuss it for fear of flaming.
post #92 of 115
Thread Starter 
Rynna ---

You're saying everything I've been trying to say -- only much more clearly!!

Thank you!!!

post #93 of 115
I actually just noticed this thread because I spend all my time over in "I'm pregnant". So I'm quite late on the uptake, obviously!

I stopped coming to MDC for about a year because of all the flaming that was going on (and because it was addictive!). But it's nice to see that for the most part, many mamas here agree that less judgement would be nice.

After having two very spirited boys and now with another on the way, I've finally mellowed. Basically, my attitude is that all mothers regardless of how they parent are part of a sisterhood. As motherhood is such an incredibly demanding vocation, all of us members of this sisterhood need to band together and support one another. If you see something is wrong, or a mom is having a bad day, help her! And if she doesn't want any help, chalk it up to stress. I can't tell you how many times my mother friends have seen my kids misbehave and instead of judging me, said "I'm so glad it's not just me!" That feels good. Being made to feel like godzilla mom is not.

Who was it that posted her story about her three little ones misbehaving and driving her crazy in a store, and feeling judged by all those who looked on? Well that's me to a T. My kids are unbelievable at times, and of course in many people's minds, it's my fault. And heavan forbid if I get frustrated with them though! What saint of a mother could possibly stay calm at all times? (unless of course her children were perfect angels at all times).

I guess my point is that all children and all mothers come with their own unique temperaments. Our temperaments sometimes determine how we are able to cope with stress. So if you put a couple of high strung kids with their (surprise, genetics!) high strung mother, there will be tense situations. Couple that with the fear many mothers have of being judged in public, and you have a very tense and probably not very objective mother. And I know some have said "Well why do you care what others think? Just do your own thing and forget about 'them'". Well that's easier for some than for others. We all have certain tendencies which may make life either easier or more difficult for us. The tendency to care a lot about what other's think is not so easily overcome for some as for others.

So in a nutshell, respect, support, and tolerance for diverse personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, that's what we need.
post #94 of 115
I'm relatively new to MDC. I just found this thread and it's very thought provoking.

On the one hand, I came here to find some respite from another board I frequent, to find people who could offer advice or commiseration about specific "AP" topics like not doing CIO, co-sleeping, and BFing. It was refresing to not be the most crunchy person in the room! And I wanted an outlet to criticize things I am opposed to. As much as I enjoy multiple points of view, sometimes it is nice to let it all hang out, especially about areas where I really feel there is a right and a wrong answer. It's exhausting to be 100% polite all the time and I think can keep you from being true to yourself.

And while I see the point about driving away potential MDC readers, how inclusive do we want to be? The checklist, while far from the end-all, be-all of attachment parenting, does serve as a nice barometer. And there is a huge difference between, for example, "I tried to breastfeed and due to XYZ problem we ended up FF" and "I can't be bothered to BF so we are FF."

Frankly, there are a lot of bad parents out there, and there is tons more thoughtless parenting done by basically good parents. Being a mother does not (and should not, IMO) make one immune from criticism. Sometimes the best way to be supportive is not to enable negative behavior. Sometimes, being judgmental is not a bad thing!

I also agree that there is a big difference between venting about a behavior and venting about a person.

But on the other hand, I know I am not the "classic" Mothering reader. I have at times felt that others would judge me for some of the choice I made, but I am comfortable with those choices and made them based on a lot of though. I see both points about the sig lines. And I agree that the ultimate that we should strive for is to identify areas where others need help and try to help them.

Either way, I think this is an excellent thread and hopefully will help temper opinions on both sides of the spectrum.

ETA: I also think sometimes that a little guilt, etc. (like idenitfying yourself in a vent post) can work to your advantage. I sometimes think I need a little reminder not to get lazy in my parenting.
post #95 of 115
I think one of the reasons that this thread hits a nerve is because maybe we do have a higher standard of conduct for AP moms. Yes, on mainstream boards I read plenty of things that make me sick but I have to say that one of the things I pride myself on is not getting sucked into the nastiness of differing opinions.

For me it comes down to this: if my daughter came home from school and she was complaining about something that someone did (which had NO effect on her, just something she observed about the way they were conducting themselves), I would urge her to be tolerant and empathetic. That's what I think the crux of this is for me - I don't participate in those types of threads because I am trying to teach tolerance to my daughter and it all starts with me.

But how hypocritical am I? I'm the first one to want to lose my lunch if I see a kid being hit in public although I do warmly welcome any women on the GD board who are trying to stop spanking - I think that takes enormous guts. What if these women were one and the same?

Ah, more food for thought.
post #96 of 115
It was only yesterday that I was thinking about the exact same issue as I was littlerally dragging my tantrumming 21 month old son out of the grocery store. I kept thinking "how AP do I look know?" There I was with a screaming toddler in one hand and three bags of groceries in the other. I was at my wits end, hungry, tired, and pregnant desperately trying to just walk the 1 block to my home and feed my son. I knew that a huge source of his frustration was that he was hungry. I must've looked quite the sight.

I know that I too am guilty of snap judgements. It is something that I've tried not to do but it's a habit I can't seem to break. This thread has given me more to think about.
post #97 of 115
Originally posted by LoveBeads
I don't participate in those types of threads because I am trying to teach tolerance to my daughter and it all starts with me.

Very well put, LoveBeads.

Yesterday we were in Ikea and witnessed a few parenting styles that both Dh and I cringed at. But as he was about to launch into criticism we got talking about how little information and support most families have, and how most people just model the way they are raised. It is very hard to break those patterns when we don't live in a context where elders are respected and pass on valuable life lessons.

Judgement may be something we humans leap to quickly and without thought, but so is war and aggression. It doesn't make it right. Clearly looking at this thread it is something we all need to pay more attention to in ourselves. I think that's a lifelong practice in itself, but for me it starts with watching my speech (or writing) and aiming to not use it to hurt, criticize, attack or blame. The thoughts may be there but I don't need to say every thing I think, and I can work with those on my own.
post #98 of 115
I havent read through this thread, just the OP. One thing I have noticed is that, if I were to post on here to say that I was having a bad day adn I really yelled at my kids, someone would post back to say what a good mama I am, even though that person doesn't know me, just reads my post. But, if we see someone in the store, maybe having the same sort of day, we rush to judge, even though, again, we dont really know tht person or the circumstances.
post #99 of 115


post #100 of 115

Been giving it more thought...

And I'm going to go out on a limb here (is this where I say, "don't flame me, but...")

I think we're all here because of something we do differently. Yet we are all different from each other. There probably isn't one, single common thing that we all share in practice. But there is one thing that we do all share in conviction. We are all willing to do things differently. We are all open to new ideas. We all have strong beliefs about how we parent.

The question then, the question for each of us to ask ourselves, is, is it about being superior? Or is it about being open? Is it our conviction that how we ourselves do it is right, or is it our conviction that we each do it right for ourselves?

One of my passions is homebirth. And I was a heroic homebirth mother. But when I hear mothers talk about hospital births and praise epidurals, I can't let myself feel superior. I can feel sorry that they can't and won't experience the empowerment I felt from my beautiful natural births. But I also respect their choices. My way is not the way for everyone, no matter how much I believe in it, no matter how right it is for me.

Should mothers scream at babies? No. Should they feed them fruit punch? No. But who am I to judge? Because who would I want to judge me?

Not the people who think my child's life was at risk when I birthed at home.
Not the people who think my child was at risk of suffication in my bed.
Not the people who think my child's teeth could have decayed as she nursed through the night.
Not the people who think my son's forskin could become infected.
Not the people who think my child is at risk of catching measles or pertusis because she is unvaccinated.
Not the people who think my child was spoiled when I came to him whenever he cried.

I truly believe my way is right. But they truly belive their way is right.

I want to practice my way of parenting. But I want to tolerate all ways of good parenting -- no matter how much I might disagree. Because, after all, that is what I am asking them to do for me.

Maybe some of you are here because you believe your way is the only right way. But for myself, I will try to refrain from criticism, and be tolerant of all my fellow mothers.

Yes, I have wrath. But shouldn't it be saved for the abusers, the users, the molesters, the destroyers? For my fellow loving parents, I want to feel nothing but tolerance, and love.
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